Pet Calendar winner, Cali the cat, remains sweet, loveable

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cali Echols, the winner of the Humane Society of Pike County’s Pet Photo Contest, is on the cover of the 2013 Pet Photo Calendar. Cali was adopted by Stan and Jo Ann Echols of Troy.

If cats could be prideful, then Cali Echols would be mighty puffed and proud.

But, Cali was relaxing at home Thursday morning as if she didn’t have any idea that her photograph is on the cover of calendars in stores all over town.

The Human Society of Pike County’s 2013 Pet Photo Calendar hit the streets Wednesday afternoon and features Cali, the winner of the humane society’s 2013 Pet Photo Contest, and nearly 80 other family pets.

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Stan and Jo Ann Echols said they are certain that being in the spotlight isn’t going to change their sweet loveable Cali. She’s too happy to have a home and a safe harbor to let a little fame go to her head.

“Cali was brought to our neighborhood in March 2011 by Mike Penn, the sales manager at Nissan Motors,” Stan Echols said.

Cali was a neglected or an abandoned kitty and Penn was afraid that she would get out on the highway and be injured or killed.

“For those of us who know Mike, it seemed possible that he might have taken Cali on a car trade,” Echols said, laughing. “Cali adopted us because we were at home most of the time. And, maybe she could tell Jo Ann and I were longtime cat lovers.”

In April, a stray male cat made his appearance and he and Cali became “friendly” and soon, how “friendly” became obvious.

“In late May, Cali disappeared for a few days and we assumed she was off to have her kittens,” Echols said. “When she returned on the first day of June, her right back leg was so badly mangled that she could scarcely make it up the steps to us.

“We immediately took her to Dr. Robert Hawkins for treatment and she became our cat.”

All of Hawkins’ efforts to save Cali or her kittens were in vain. About six weeks later, he had to amputate Cali’s leg in order to save her life.

For Stan and Jo Ann Echols, Cali is a ray of sunshine in their lives.

They named her Cali for several reasons. First, she is a calico cat.

“Cali is derived from ‘kalos’ which in Greek means beautiful and she is beautiful,” Echols said. “CALI is an acronym for Constructive Animal Life Interventions, which I perceive to be the major goals of the Humane Society of Pike County.”

Because of Cali’s handicap, Stan and Jo Ann have made their house “handicapped cat accessible” by placing ottomans and stools at the windows so she can look out on the world that she once found cruel and foreboding but now is warm and loving.

“We love Cali and we know how much good the Humane Society of Pike County does to prevent cruelty to animals,” Jo Ann Echols said. “By raising money for the humane society, we are supporting their efforts to keep what happened to Cali from happening to other helpless animals.”

Lisa Howard, Pet Photo Contest coordinator, congratulated Cali and her family and expressed appreciation for their support of the humane society.

She said that although a cat, once again, graces the cover of the calendar, 10 dogs are among the monthly features.

“Because of the support of so many, the Pet Photo Contest was a great success and raised a lot of money for the Humane Society of Pike County and we appreciate the support of the community,” Howard said. “Through the sale of the calendars, we will be able to offer more services to Pike County.”

Those services include spay and neuter programs, a feral cat program, an in-school educational program and a families in need program.

The 2013 Pet Photo Calendars are on sale at locations around the county including Troy Antiques, Jinright’s Hilltop Antiques, The Little Framery, Troy banks, Synco Drugs, Byrd Drugs, all Pike County veterinarian offices and Haisten, Shipman and Wiggins PC.